Saturday, February 24, 2007

Clover seed

Today we went to Tokiwa Garland, an excellent garden centre in Matsuyama, and bought 5 litres of white clover at 1,500 yen per litre. The seed is unfortunately produced in New Zealand as Japanese farmers, who used to plant clover in their winter rice paddies, have stopped using it. Clover grows on nearly every kind of soil, fixes nitrogen, makes bees happy, provides good ground cover, and can be slashed to make green manure. Feb~Mar is the planting season (if you didn't plant it in autumn. I broadcast a load of seed over the food garden where I haven't made raised beds to protect the soil. In the recent rain, the top layer of soil had already formed a hard crust of little stones that had to be broken.

The seed is finer than sand, and more slippery, so broadcasting it by hand is an interesting excercise in not letting it all slip through your fingers in one place. I also had to wait for blasts of the February wind to finish before I started each new patch.

I was pleased to see that our rainwater butt has arrived, and even though it holds 1,000 litres and is blue, it isn't as big nor as ugly as I'd expected. More on this later when it's installed.

Inside the house, the insulation is now nearly all covered with plaster board. The 2-by-6 construction with plaster board makes a satisfyingly thick wall.

On the outside, the brickies have been busy and nearly all the brick facing is on. This makes the walls even thicker. The bricks present a different face under the varied lighting conditions. The finished house should look rather smart, if I do say so myself.

Glancing light

In the glare of the westering sun

The kitchen stuff has also arrived, and apart from the unnecessarily gold handles on everything, it's pleasantly subdued. The carpenters also seem to be doing a good job.

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